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BELARUS, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: Belarus has decided to convert over 200,000 OZM-72 bounding fragmentation mines into command-detonated munitions. Belarus has committed to destroying MUV-type fuzes used as antihandling devices and booby-traps. Belarus submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 1 July 2004 and a second report on 9 May 2005. Belarus cleared more than 1,000 antipersonnel mines in 2004, but has not formally declared itself to be mine-affected. The Ministry of Defense reported spending around US$460,000 on clearance operations during the year. The Ministry of Defense launched a mine risk education campaign aimed at preventing casualties among the civilian population in affected areas. Mine casualties continued to occur in 2004 and 2005.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Belarus acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 September 2003 and the treaty entered into force for it on 1 March 2004. Decree No. 525 issued by the Council of Ministers on 6 May 2004 assigned responsibilities to all the government bodies involved in implementation of the treaty.[1] Landmine Monitor Report 2004 noted that as of mid-2004, the Council of Ministers was considering approval of a national action plan for implementation, but no further progress has been reported.[2 ]

Although Belarus has not enacted separate legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty, its second transparency report cites Articles 294, 295, 298 and 299 of its criminal code as national implementation measures banning the production, stockpiling and trade in antipersonnel mines. These laws impose penalties for activities relating to the theft, manufacture, transfer, sale, trafficking and storage of explosive materials. Penalties range from correctional labor or restricted freedom to 15 years’ imprisonment.[3 ]

In addition, decrees were issued in September and October 2003 banning the stockpiling and use of antipersonnel mines that are not command-detonated. Engineering forces were assigned to assure the destruction of existing stocks.[4 ]

Belarus submitted its initial Article 7 report on 1 July 2004 and a second transparency report, covering the remainder of 2004, on 9 May 2005.[5]

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandr Sychev led the country’s delegation to the First Review Conference held in Nairobi in November-December 2004. Noting the challenge of destroying Belarus’ large stockpile of antipersonnel mines, he said, “We are convinced that this task could be accomplished only by joint efforts.... The mechanisms of international cooperation set forth in the Convention function and they are effective. We believe that the international support and assistance will allow many countries, including Belarus, to accomplish their obligations and destroy antipersonnel mines in the given period.” He also said, “We note a positive and important role the non-governmental organizations are playing to achieve the goals of the Convention. I would like to address the most cordial words of appreciation to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for its valuable contribution and strong efforts.”[6 ]

In June 2005, Belarus attended the intersessional meetings and made statements to the Standing Committees on Stockpile Destruction and on General Status and Operation of the Convention. Belarus has not yet made known its views on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3, and in particular to issues related to joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the number of mines retained for training.

Belarus joined Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons on 2 March 2004. It deferred for nine years compliance with the protocol’s requirements for self-destruction and self-deactivation of remotely-delivered antipersonnel mines.[7 ] Belarus attended the Sixth Annual Meeting of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in November 2004, and submitted the annual report required by Article 13.

Production, Transfer and Use

Belarus has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines since independence in 1992. It has stated that it has not used antipersonnel mines for protection of its borders or for other purposes.[8 ] Prior to becoming a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, Belarus established a moratorium prohibiting the export of antipersonnel mines in 1995; in 2003 this was extended to the end of 2007.[9 ] In addition, a 1998 decree prohibits the transit of antipersonnel mines and certain other goods through the territory of Belarus.[10 ]

Stockpiling and Destruction

Belarus declared in its second transparency report a stockpile of 3,676,389 antipersonnel mines, consisting of: 46,925 PMN blast mines; 116,616 PMN-2 blast mines; 14,299 POMZ-2 fragmentation mines; 66,361 POMZ-2M fragmentation mines; 19,624 POM-2 fragmentation mines in KPOM-2 cassettes; 29,200 POM-2 fragmentation mines in BKF-POM-2 canisters; 8,500 POM-2 fragmentation mines in BKF-POM-SV canisters; 1,792,944 PFM-1 blast mines in KSF-1 cassettes; 707,072 PFM-1S blast mines in KSF-1S cassettes; 413,712 PFM-1S blast mines in PFM-1S canisters; 461,136 PFM-1S blast mines in Uragan (Hurricane) 220mm rocket warheads.[11 ]

The total is smaller than Belarus reported in its first Article 7 report because Belarus has decided to convert all 200,847 OZM-72 bounding fragmentation mines in its stockpile into non-directional, command-detonated munitions: “The status of this type of munition has been changed due to the decision to use it exclusively in the controlled design version and due to non-applicability of the term ‘antipersonnel landmine’ as it has been defined in Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Convention.”[12 ] With regard to the victim-activated components of the OZM-72, Belarus states, “This type of munition is currently revised: all subparts designed for uncontrolled detonation are to be extracted and destroyed.”[13]

The original stockpile of antipersonnel mines totaled approximately 4.5 million, inherited from the Soviet Union. For the purposes of the Mine Ban Treaty, Belarus initially declared 3,988,057 antipersonnel mines, including 3.37 million of the PFM type.[14 ] Belarus destroyed about 300,000 antipersonnel mines between 1992 and 2003.[15 ] Since the treaty entered into force, engineer forces destroyed 80 PMN blast mines in March 2004 in an event witnessed by international and domestic media.[16]

Belarus declared in July 2004 its intent to keep in operational service 110,766 MON series (MON-50, MON-90, MON-100, MON-200) directional fragmentation munitions (Claymore-type mines). It states, “The Republic of Belarus provides information on this type of munitions as a gesture of good will (these munitions are used in controlled mode and do not fall under the definition of antipersonnel mines....).”[17 ] During 2004, 55 MON type mines were destroyed during training with the staff of military command troops.[18]

Belarus has also committed to destroy all MUV-type fuzes used as antihandling devices and booby-traps, and to report to States Parties on this activity.[19 ] These fuzes can operate as either pull or pressure initiators, and can be fitted to all types of Soviet designed mines. They are inherently victim-activated.[20 ]

Mines Retained for Research and Training

In May 2005, Belarus reported retaining 6,030 antipersonnel mines for research and training purposes permitted under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. This reduction from the 7,530 antipersonnel mines, which Belarus declared in June 2004 that it would retain, is accounted for by the decision to re-classify 1,500 OZM-72 mines as command-detonated munitions no longer under the scope of the Mine Ban Treaty. [21 ]

Belarus retains antipersonnel mines for training of mine detection dogs, testing of protective equipment and mine detectors, and the training of personnel.[22 ] Belarus has not yet reported in detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines―a step agreed to by States Parties in the Nairobi Action Plan that emerged from the First Review Conference.

Destruction of PFM Mines

On 16 December 2004, the National Assembly’s lower body, the House of Representatives, ratified the July 2004 memorandum of understanding between Belarus and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) for cooperation in logistical and technical support. The First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff, Syarhey Hurulyow, in presenting the document, stated that the Defense Ministry’s warehouses store about four million antipersonnel mines, the guaranteed storage life of which expired in 1999-2000, as well as about 100,000 tons of artillery ammunition. The state spends about 11 million rubles or $385,000 annually for their storage. He noted that ratification of the memorandum will make it possible to attract foreign funds for the destruction of these weapons. A deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the House of Representatives, Pyotr Kaluhin, said that the ratification of the memorandum meets Belarus’ economic and national security interests.[23]

In the first stage of the program, TNT-based hand-emplaced antipersonnel mines (PMN and POMZ types) will be destroyed by open detonation at a Defense Ministry range. It has been reported that Canada has allocated €205,500 (approximately $250,000) for this purpose.[24 ] Remotely-delivered antipersonnel mines in cassettes, canisters and warheads (PFM and POM types) will be destroyed during the second stage.

It was proposed by the European Commission (EC) at the Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop held in Minsk on 8-9 December 2003 that Ukraine and Belarus should explore possibilities for collaboration in destruction of their conventional and PFM-type mines.[25 ] At the First Review Conference in Nairobi, the EC representative said the EC is planning to provide technical and financial support to Belarus for the destruction of PFM mines.[26 ] The Commander of Engineer Forces said the challenges facing Belarus with respect to PFM mines include finding funds to build destruction facilities, finding ecologically safe ways to destroy mines that generate toxic emissions, and finding appropriate destruction technology.[27]

Landmine and UXO Problem

While unexploded ordnance (UXO) predominates in Belarus, landmines are also present. Belarus did not declare any mined areas or areas suspected of containing mines in its transparency reports submitted in June 2004 and May 2005.[28]  Officials have told Landmine Monitor that the situation in Belarus mirrors that of many European states where battlefields from World War II remain.  These mines are detected and cleared on an ad hoc basis as they are discovered.  The mines are treated as a UXO problem, and most of the mines were said to be no longer dangerous.  Authorities in Belarus do not have records of mined areas.[29] 

An unknown number of German and Soviet antipersonnel and antivehicle mines remain across World War II battlefields in Belarus, especially in Vitebsk, Gomel and Minsk regions. The Dubrovno district in Vitebsk is believed to be the most mine- and UXO-affected area in the country where, despite clearance operations carried out in 1945-1947 and 1993-1994, local authorities claim that an estimated 200,000 mines and UXO remain in an area of approximately 170 square kilometers.[30 ] There is also mine and UXO contamination in the Brest and Mogilev regions.

The majority of affected areas are agricultural land and forests, but mine/UXO contamination is also discovered in cities and towns. Low temperatures and soil pressure bring wartime landmines and UXO to the surface, even in areas where clearance operations have been undertaken previously.[31 ]

The mine/UXO problem in Belarus may also be measured by the number of casualties. In 2004, an increase in mine/UXO incidents was reported (five incidents: one person killed; 15 injured) compared with 2003. A total of 6,048 mine/UXO casualties were recorded from 1944 to 2004. (See Landmine/UXO Casualties section.)

Mine Action Coordination and Planning

Mine action in Belarus is carried out under Order No. 73 of the Minister of Defense, dated 20 February 1997 (On the organization of demining of the territory of Republic of Belarus), and Order No. 120, dated 28 March 1995 (Implementing guidelines for clearing the territory of explosive ordnance).[32 ] Order No. 73 divides the territory of Belarus into different zones and assigns explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams to each of the zones, determines how many EOD teams there should be, and how many personnel each team should have. Order No. 120 focuses on technical issues regarding the different types of mines and UXO, and appropriate demining methods. Ministry of Defense standards serve as national standards for demining operations. Deminers are expected to follow standard operating procedures developed and approved by the Ministry of Defense.[33 ]

There is no strategic plan for clearance operations. Clearance tasks are decided by the Council of Ministers based on proposals from the Ministry of Defense. Priority is given to densely populated areas and areas to be used for agriculture or industry. Primary responsibility rests with the Ministry of Defense, which undertakes planned clearance operations, and the Ministry of Interior, which responds to emergency requests for EOD in cities, towns and villages, and is also in charge of detection and clearance of unexploded aviation bombs.

Requests for planned clearance operations are made by local authorities. The Ministry of Defense also receives calls for EOD; some 1,500 calls are received annually.[34 ]

The Ministry of Defense is capable of deploying up to 45 EOD teams from a total of 200 trained and qualified personnel.[35 ] An EOD team typically consists of five personnel (one officer, one driver and three engineers). All except the driver are conscripts, who receive some training, serve for 14 months, and are then replaced by new conscripts. Team members receive danger pay for their work. The provision of refresher training for reservists remains problematic. The Ministry of Interior deploys ten EOD teams, each composed of 10 to 15 people to respond to emergencies.[36 ]

Manual demining methods, machines and dogs are used in clearance operations. The Ministry of Defense uses machines that were designed for military breaching of minefields. The Ministry of Interior planned to buy robots for demining in the second half of 2005. It has 22 explosives detection dogs.[37 ]

Clearance data is stored by the Ministry of Defense. Belarus does not use the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database.[38]

The Specialized Demining Center was established in Minsk in August 2003 by the Ministry of Interior, to conduct surveys and train deminers and other specialists involved in demining operations. The center is also mandated to carry out demining operations requiring special expertise and equipment, such as in a densely populated area of a city. The center’s deminers are expected to respond within 10 minutes of receiving a call requesting emergency EOD.[39 ]

In 2005, it was planned to clear mines in the Berestovitsky and Vokovisky districts of Grodno region, and the Svislochsky district of Minsk region. It was also planned to carry out operations in Uretchje in the Minsk region, where mines and UXO were discovered in February 2005.[40]

No information on surveys of suspected areas is included in Belarus’ Article 7 reports or other sources obtained by the Landmine Monitor. Mine/UXO-affected and suspected areas are not routinely marked or fenced until mines and UXO are discovered. Marking is then carried out by Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior personnel.[41]

Landmine and UXO Clearance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Belarus must destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2014.

In 2004, the ministries of defense and interior cleared a combined total of 21,582 mines and UXO, including 1,228 antipersonnel mines and 25 antivehicle mines. The most mines and UXO were found and destroyed in Vitebsk region (Vitebsk, Dokshitsi, Rossone, Liozensk and Polotsk districts), Minsk region (Borisov and Luban districts), Gomel region (Svetlogorsk, Zlobin, Oktyabr and Rogachev districts) and the Osipovichi district of Mogilev region.[42 ]

The Ministry of Defense reports clearing over 10,000 mines and UXO in 2004, of which 237 were antipersonnel mines.[43 ] The Ministry of Interior received 2,182 calls and cleared more than 11,000 UXO, including 991 mines.[44 ]

No demining accidents were reported in 2004 and through to May 2005.

Mine Risk Education

In 2004 the Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with local authorities and EOD teams, launched a mine risk education (MRE) campaign aimed at preventing casualties among the civilian population in affected areas of Belarus. This campaign included TV and radio advertising, and printed material such as posters and brochures.[45 ] It provided warnings about the dangers of mines and UXO, and guidance on safe behavior in areas suspected to be dangerous. Films depicting EOD clearance and interviews with military officers from the Army Engineer Corps and representatives of the Belarus Campaign to Ban Landmines (BCBL) were also shown regularly on national television.

According to the ministries of defense and interior, EOD teams also conduct MRE for civilians in affected areas before initiating clearance operations. MRE sessions are provided by individual EOD team officers, based on their personal experience rather than on any standard script or specific educational materials.[46 ]

Children, particularly male teenagers, are considered to be most at risk from mines and UXO. The school system is believed to be one of the most effective channels for the provision of MRE in Belarus, especially in remote rural communities that are often the most mine/UXO-affected.[47 ] MRE is given to Grades 11 and 12 for youths undergoing pre-conscription military training.[48 ] The National Institute of Education of the Ministry of Education has developed a curriculum and teacher training manual for instructing secondary school pupils on how to respond to dangerous and emergency scenarios.[49 ] As the curriculum does not address the threats and risks posed by mines and UXO, the institute has proposed the inclusion of MRE for schools in mine-affected areas, with teacher-training and materials based on international best practice.[50 ] MRE will be taught in all grades under the topics “man-made emergencies,” “fire safety,” “risk of  explosive objects” and possibly in other sections, depending on the ages of students. In 2005, materials including MRE were being finalized for second to fourth grades, and work on materials for other grades was underway.[51 ]

In 2003, UNICEF stated that it was committed to assisting Belarus in meeting the challenges of mine risk education,[52 ]but as of May 2005 the organization had not been involved in MRE provision.[53 ]

Belarus did not include information on the MRE campaign on Form I of the Article 7 report, which it submitted on 9 May 2005. International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) have not been applied to MRE in Belarus, and no national standards have been developed.[54 ]

Funding and Assistance

According to the Ministry of Defense, total expenditure for its clearance operations in 2004 was 100 million Belarusian rubles (some $460,000), not including transport costs and deminers’ remuneration.[55 ] Similar data was not available from the Ministry of Interior.

Canada recorded a contribution of C$268,758 ($206,467) in 2004 for antipersonnel mine stockpile destruction.[56]

Belarus submitted the voluntary Form J with its 2005 Article 7 report. This stated that it “needs financial and technological assistance for dealing with the problems at hand.”[57 ] The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) assessment conducted in 2000 noted that Belarus should be capable of addressing the primarily UXO problem without financial assistance, but possibly with some assistance for training and equipment.[58]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

In 2004, five mine/UXO incidents were reported, in which one person was killed and 15 injured. On 2 June 2004, in the village of Novaya Korma in Zlobin district, one person was injured while tampering with a mine. On 27 July, two people from the village of Lizichi in Myadel district were injured by a mine. On 15 September in the village of Pridanci in Chausky district, one man was killed and another injured while tampering with UXO. On 6 November, two children in Puhovichi district were injured when UXO exploded after being thrown into a fire.[59 ] On 4 October, in a secondary school in Svisloch in Puhovichi district, nine students were injured after a grenade, found by a student and brought to school to show the teacher, exploded.[60 ] This represents an increase from the two people killed and seven injured by UXO in 2003.[61]

UXO casualties continue to be reported in 2005. On 30 January, two men and one woman were killed and another woman received minor injuries in a powerful blast at the site of an abandoned firing ground near Lyuban in Minsk region, after tampering with UXO found at the site.[62 ]

Between 1944 and 2004, 6,048 mine and UXO casualties were recorded, including 3,416 people injured and 2,632 killed.[63 ] The Ministry of Defense maintains a mine/UXO casualty database which indicates the type of mine or UXO involved. The database is based on official sources, including ministries and local authorities, and is updated after each new incident.[64 ]

Survivor Assistance and Disability Policy and Practice[65]

Access to medical, surgical, rehabilitation and reintegration services, available from the Ministry of Health network of hospitals and healthcare institutions throughout Belarus, were ranked favorably in comparison to other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries by the World Health Organization in 2004.[66 ]

Most prosthetic and rehabilitation facilities are available in Belarus. The Individual Rehabilitation Program plans to address the physical rehabilitation of people with disabilities, “which includes medical, psychological, social and legal assistance.”[67 ] However, due to economic difficulties, this program is not being implemented adequately. Physiotherapy and psychosocial rehabilitation resources appear to be very limited. The centers are in need of international expertise and welcome collaboration with international organizations in this respect.[68 ]

The Belarus Prosthetic Rehabilitation Center (BPRC) is the main supplier and producer of prosthetics in the country. In 2004, it produced 2,149 wheelchairs, 12,085 orthopedic appliances, 6,644 crutches, 30,300 walking sticks and 17,407 other assistive devices. No separate data is maintained on mine/UXO survivors. In 2004, the BPRC budget was 11 billion Belarussian rubles ($5.1 million), which was provided by the state. The main facility is located in Minsk, with branches in major cities, including Vitebsk, Grodno, Gomel, Mogilev and Baranovitchi. The center provides physiotherapy, the production and fitting of prostheses and other orthopedic devices, pre- and post-prosthetic care, and the repair and adjustment of prostheses and other aids. BPRC has modern equipment and uses advanced technologies. Only 0.2 percent of persons with disabilities have to pay a small amount for their prostheses, depending on the type of prostheses. Psychological rehabilitation consists of joint work by psychologists, psychotherapists and social psychologists. In 2004, the BPRC Education Center provided vocational training for 192 people with a disability. Economic reintegration of survivors is reported to be difficult, although companies are requested by law to engage people with a disability.[69 ]

National disability laws exist in Belarus.[70 ] The main agency responsible for the protection and social reintegration of people with disabilities is the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. There is a national coordination committee for disability issues, the Republican Interdepartmental Council for Problems of Disabled Persons, and a parliamentary commission on disability issues that develops changes and amendments to legislation. The Republican Complex Program (2001-2005) includes assistance to survivors from military operations and rehabilitation of people with disabilities; the RCP receives state funding.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and other agencies collaborate with NGOs to meet the needs of persons with disabilities, and to advocate for their rights. NGOs working in this area include the Belarus Foundation for Mercy and Health, Belarus Association of Handicapped, Belarus Association of Veterans of War, Army and Security Forces, and Belarus Association of Disabled by War.

[1] Decree No. 525, “On Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” 6 May 2004.

[2 ]Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 168.

[3 ]Article 7 Report, Form A, 9 May 2005.

[4 ]Decree No. 742 of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, 1 September 2003, and Decree No. 851 of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, 6 October 2003.

[5] Article 7 Report, 9 May 2005 (for 2 July 2004-31 December 2004); Article 7 Report, 23 June 2004 (for the period to 1 July 2004).

[6 ]Statement by Alexandr Sychev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World (First Review Conference) held from 29 November to 3 December 2004.

[7 ]Declaration submitted with ratification to the United Nations, www.untreaty.un.org, accessed 18 July 2005. This deferral will presumably become irrelevant by 1 March 2008, when Belarus is obliged to complete destruction of its stocks of PFM and KPOM remotely-delivered antipersonnel mines to comply with Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty.

[8 ]Statement by Aleh Shloma, Representative of the Republic of Belarus at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, New York, 21 October 2004.

[9 ]Decree No. 19 of the President of the Republic of Belarus, “About the Prolongation of the Moratorium on Export of Landmines Till the End of 2007,” 13 January 2003.

[10 ]Decree No. 27 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, “About State Control over Transit Through the Territory of the Republic of Belarus of Specific Goods,” 10 January 1998.

[11 ]Article 7 Report, Form B, 9 May 2005.

[12 ]Article 7 Report, Form B, 9 May 2005. Unofficial translation by Landmine Monitor.

[13] Article 7 Report, Form B, 9 May 2005. Unofficial translation by Landmine Monitor.

[14 ]Article 7 Report, Form B, 23 June 2004.

[15 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 170.

[16] “Belarus starts destroying antipersonnel mines,” Belapan News Agency (Minsk), 10 March 2004; Lt. Col. Vladimir Kud, “To scrap landmines,” WPS: defense and security, 17 March 2004, www.wps.ru.

[17 ]Article 7 Report, Form B, 23 June 2004.

[18] Article 7 Report, Form B, 9 May 2005.

[19 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Commander of Engineer Forces, Ministry of Defense, and Counselor Valery Kolesnik, International Security and Arms Control Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[20 ]ICBL, “Overview of Antipersonnel Mine Stockpile Destruction,” Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[21 ]Article 7 Report, Form D, 9 May 2005. The mines retained include: 1,500 PMN; 1,512 PMN-2; 1,500 POMZ-2; 1,518 POMZ-2M.

[22 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, and Counselor Valery Kolesnik, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[23] Belapan news agency (Minsk), in Russian, 16 December 2004.

[24 ]Belapan news agency (Minsk), in Russian, 16 December 2004.

[25 ]Ottawa Convention Implementation by the Republic of Belarus, materials of the Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003.

[26 ]Statement by Daniela Dicorrado-Andreoni, External Relations Directorate General/Conventional Disarmament, European Commission, Nairobi, 1 December 2004.

[27] Statement by Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 11 February 2004.

[28] Article 7 Reports, Forms C and I, 23 June 2004 and 9 May 2005. “Not applicable” is entered on the forms.

[29] Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, and Counselor Valery Kolesnik, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[30 ]Presentation by Michail Leschinsky, Head of Dubrovno Local Authority, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003.

[31 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 7 June 2005; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 171.

[32 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to Belarus Campaign to Ban Landmines (BCBL)/Support Centre for Associations and Foundations (SCAF), 26 April 2005.

[33 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 7 June 2005.

[34 ]Presentation by Col. Sergei Luchina, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003.

[35 ]Presentation by Col. Sergei Luchina, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003.

[36 ]Presentation by Col. Gennady Pozniak, Ministry of Interior, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8–9 December 2003.

[37 ]Interviews with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, and Col. Gennady Pozniak, Ministry of Interior, Minsk, 7 June 2005.

[38] Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 7 June 2005.

[39 ]Presentation by Col. Gennady Pozniak, Ministry of Interior, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8–9 December 2003.

[40] Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[41] Statement by Col. Sergei Luchina, press conference convened by the Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 19 January 2004. Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty requires that States Parties make every effort to identify all areas known or suspected to contain antipersonnel mines and to perimeter-mark, monitor and fence such areas “to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians.”

[42 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[43 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[44 ]Interview with Col. Gennady Pozniak, Ministry of Interior, 20 April 2005.

[45 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[46 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 7 June 2005.

[47 ]Interview with Natalia Iakovleva, National Institute of Education, Ministry of Education, Minsk, 25 April 2005.

[48 ]Email from Eleonora Gvozdeva, Assistant Program Officer, UNICEF Belarus, 30 June 2005.

[49 ]S.B. Fatin and M. K. Meshkevich, Basics of Safety Life (Minsk: Adukatsia i Vikhavanne, 2004).

[50 ]Interview with Natalia Iakovleva, Ministry of Education, Minsk, 25 April 2005.

[51 ]Email from Eleonora Gvozdeva, UNICEF Belarus, 30 June 2005.

[52 ]Presentation by Ben Lark, UNICEF, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003.

[53 ]Email from Eleonora Gvozdeva, Assistant Program Officer, UNICEF Belarus, 30 June 2005.

[54 ]Interview with Maj. Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 7 June 2005.

[55 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005. Exchange rate: $1 = 2,170 Belarussian rubles, used throughout this report.  National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, 31 December 2004, www.nbrb.by/engl/statistics/rates/, accessed 24 July 2005.

[56] Email from Elvan Isikozlu, Mine Action Team, Foreign Affairs Canada, 5 August 2005. Average exchange rate for 2004: $1 = C$1.3017. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2005.

[57 ]Article 7 Report, Form J, 9 May 2005.

[58] UNMAS, “Mine Action Assessment Mission Report, The Republic of Belarus, 31 July-4 August 2000,” New York.

[59 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[60 ]News item on Belarus national television, 4 October 2004.

[61] For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 172-173.

[62 ]Belapan News Agency (Minsk), 31 January 2005.

[63 ]See also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 172-173.

[64 ]Letter from Ministry of Defense to BCBL/SCAF, 26 April 2005.

[65] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 173.

[66 ]Valeria Lekhan, Volodomyr Rudiy, Ellen Nolte, “Health care systems in transition: Ukraine,” WHO Regional Office for Europe on behalf of European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Copenhagen, 2004. 

[67 ]Interview with I. N. Volkov, Director, Belarus Prosthetic Rehabilitation Center, 14 April 2005.

[68 ]Presentation by Lt. Col. Andrei Korzun, Senior Doctor, Central Military Hospital, Second International Ottawa Convention Implementation Workshop, Minsk, 8-9 December 2003; see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 173.

[69 ]Interview with I. N. Volkov, Belarus Prosthetic Rehabilitation Center, 14 April 2005.

[70 ]For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 869-870; Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 174.